Acne Treatment SMACNE Review & Results
I've been seeing SMACNE products all over my Instagram timeline for months. If you've been searching for how to get rid of acne, you've probably seen them, too.
Some of you have even been asking me to review the products, and the folx at SMACNE were kind enough to gift me a set, and encouraged me to try the 30-Day SMACNE Challenge.
As a part of my kit, they sent me:
The SMACNE Exfoliating Aloe Cleanser
The SMACNE Acne Treatment (Regular)
The SMACNE Acne Treatment (Severe)
THE BRAND + PRODUCTS
SMACNE was created with a collection of popular and clinically-proven acne-fighting ingredients, like tea tree oil, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic and glycolic acids - as well as other skin-friendly ingredients like aloe vera and hyaluronic acid.
First, let's take a quick look at each product individually:
SMACNE Aloe Vera Exfoliating Cleanser
This cleanser utilizes glycolic acid, tea tree oil and salicylic acid. These ingredients help to clean the skin, exfoliate, and reduce sticky sebum. It also contains hyaluronic acid, and glycerin. With a pH of around 4, it's ideal for your skin's health and barrier.
This acne treatment is oil-based, and designed to replace the oils on the skin (ideally so you won't need to follow up with a moisturizer). The oils (hazelnut, glycerin, jojoba) are low comedogenic, so they shouldn't cause extra breakouts. Plus, the acne-fighting benzoyl peroxide will help to kill any bacteria in the pores.
SMACNE Severe Treatment
This treatment contains a higher percentage, of 10%, benzoyl peroxide. It's the preferred treatment for stubborn or resistant acne that doesn't respond to any other treatments. It has similar ingredients to the regular treatment.
MY EXPERIENCE + HONEST REVIEW
I start the evening by cleansing my skin (after removing any makeup) with about a nickel-sized amount of the cleanser, lathering it with a bit of water. If you really want the cleanser to be effective, then let it sit for a minute or so on your skin while you brush your teeth, so it can really break up all the sticky "glue" holding everything against your skin. If you really want to expedite clearing your acne you can use this twice daily but I found once in the evening was enough.
After rinsing, I pat dry my skin, and let my face dry completely (this is important when using benzoyl peroxide, as wet skin will absorb the treatment more easily, and is more likely to lead to irritation).
Next, I use a very tiny dab of the regular acne treatment all over my face. You don't need a lot for benzoyl peroxide to be effective, and it's best to start with just a little bit, to see how your skin reacts.
Sometimes I also dab the Severe Treatment on my pimples, and let it dry entirely before following up with my Banish Vitamin C Crème moisturizer.
My 1 MONTH RESULTS
As you can see, my skin was doing okay when I started the 30 Day Smacne Challenge. A little inflammation and a few persistent pimples in my typical hormonal area. And after, there is much less inflammation and no active acne (at all!). I can confidently say that my skin stayed consistently clear during the entire 30 days of use.
The only real side effect that I experienced while using SMACNE was a bit of dryness, and an increase in the appearance of fine lines during the transition period. This is totally normal, and goes away after a while.
- Initially it had a bit of a strong cleaner/disinfectant smell that I didn't really enjoy, but after a while I stopped noticing the smell.
- Skin felt thoroughly clean after.
- The cleanser was a bit drying for my skin at first, but it didn't cause any irritation. My skin just isn't used to a treated cleanser.
- I would have personally liked it to lather a bit more, as I did have to use quite a bit of product and it didn't spread as much as I thought it would (the texture is like a gel, but thicker).
- The AHA/BHA combo cleanser is a surprisingly effective addition to really top up my skincare routine and nip any existing acne in the bud.
- Benzoyl peroxide is a highly effective ingredient that I always rely on to clear my acne.
- The oil-based treatment is surprisingly good for my skin, and I don't know if I'll ever go back to the Paula's Choice water-based treatment other than to finish up my product.
- Thicker than my usual Paula’s Choice 2.5% solution. Wasn't a fan of the texture at first, but that's personal preference.
- Due to oil, it feels a bit greasy upon application and dries a bit sticky but not too bad. After regular use I didn't notice it so much.
- Also doesn’t leave my skin as dry afterward, better than the water-based formulas.
- Also has an interesting smell, almost citrusy, very light. Again, after regular use I didn't even notice this.
- Felt a bit strong at first, but my skin adjusted well.
- Says you don’t need to moisturize after, and I can see why, but I still chose to use my Banish Vitamin C Crème after it had dried.
Acne Treatment (Severe):
- 10% is a lot, but it's nice to have for very stubborn acne, and as a spot treatment.
- I used this only 3-4 times in the 30 days.
Overall, I noticed an increase in dryness and flaking especially around my mouth and between my brows. This is to be expected especially due to the cleanser which has many actives. My skin was never uncomfortable though, and I always felt the dryness was manageable during the transition phase.
First, one of the most important factors in determining the success of a product is user compliance. You have to use the products (and properly!) in order for them to work. Thankfully, the SMACNE products are easy to use and self-explanatory. They take all the guesswork out of your acne routine for you.
However, I would love for them to sell the products separately - and I know others feels the same way. I like the cleanser. I love the SMACNE Treatment. But I hardly used the Severe Treatment. I would definitely repurchase the set, but since I don't *need* the Severe Treatment, it feels like a bit of a waste.
Be aware - the combo of AHAs/BHA with tea tree oil in the cleanser, plus the benzoyl peroxide in the treatment – it’s a lot. It’s some of the best acne treatments, but it’s a lot all at once, so expect a small transition period, depending on your previous skincare routine.
The real question is, is it effective and should you try it?
I think it can be very, very effective for mild to moderate acne, and possibly effective for severe acne.
I would definitely recommend trying it out if you're struggling to find a skincare routine that really works. It's a nice, oil-based treatment alternative to other BP products on the market. Plus, the price is right, and there's a 30 day free trial so if you don't end up liking the product, all you're out is the shipping.
***During my 30 Day Challenge I continued to use three of my other regular products:
Banish Pumpkin Enzyme Masque occasionally during the day.
Banish Vitamin C Creme as a moisturizer.
Banish Vitamin C Beauty Elixir as a mid-day refresher and to re-wet my skin before moisturizer application.
See the YouTube video here.